Menu JTA Search

Dispute over Senate Inouiry on Freedom of Religion Revealed

The resignation of Marshall MacDuffie as chief counsel of the Senate subcommittee on constitutional rights pointed up a behind-the-scenes dispute over the manner of conducting an inquiry into freedom of religion and free speech today. Jewish leaders protested against the suspension last week of a scheduled series of hearings on freedom of religion.

Mr. MacDuffie said he did not want to be associated with a questionnaire on freedom of religion and speech which had been distributed by the subcommittee. It is claimed that some Protestant leaders said that the questions listed were an invitation to Roman Catholic criticism of Supreme Court rulings on the separation of church and state.

It was also understood that Mr. MacDuffie was displeased with the activities of the subcommittee’s director of research, Benjamin Ginzburg, a social scientist of Norwalk, Conn. Sen. Thomas Hennings, in announcing the cancellation of hearings last week, had said that the questionnaires constituted a hearing “in written form” and that, as a result, there was no need for oral testimony.

NEXT STORY